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When Parasites Catch Viruses

Researchers find a viral symbiont of a protozoan parasite increases virulence to the human host.

When humans have parasites, the organisms live in our bodies, co-opt our resources, and cause disease. However, it turns out that parasites themselves can have their own co-habitants.

Researc... Read More

Virology course on Coursera

For fours years I have taught a virology course at Columbia University and have posted videos of each lecture on my website, virology.ws, and at iTunes University. Nearly 100,000 individuals have subscribed to my virology course at iTunes University. Now Columbia has signed an agreement with Cou... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 146 - Engineered Escherichia Eliminates Enemies

This episode: Scientists engineered E. coli to seek and destroy pathogens!


(10 MB, 11 minutes)


A bacterium can sense pathogens in the body, swim toward them, and release a deadly biofilm-busting payload. This process is called pseudotaxis, and could be modified for many... Read More

Human gut may engineer its bacterial environment via secretions

The human gut may help control the bacterial populations that live within it via secretions that kill some bacteria while supporting others, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Biology.

The gut is an enormously complex environment inhabited not only by human cells but a... Read More

TWiP 87: Stumped by pinworm

Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel review new insight into antigenic variation in trypanosomes, reveal the difficult solution to the last case study, and  present another mystery for your solving.


Hosts:  Read More

The Deadliest Virus

BIRD FLU (H5N1) has receded from international headlines for the moment, as few human cases of the deadly virus have been reported this year. But when Dutch researchers recently created an even more deadly strain of the virus in a laboratory for research purposes, they stirred grave concerns abo... Read More

Man-made Bacteria Fights Man-Made Chemical Mess

Researchers have developed a bacteria strain that is uniquely effective at degrading the toxic industrial chemicals known as PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls.

PCBs are toxic man-made organic chemicals that pose a threat to human health and to the environment.

The Environmental Protection... Read More

Meth Helps Fight The Flu, Study Suggests

And they said meth never did a body good.

A study conducted by researchers in Taiwan found that methamphetamine may possess flu-fighting properties, Medical Daily reported.

The study, published Tuesday in PLoS One, exposed human lung cells to varying quantities meth, then infected them wit... Read More

TWiV 218: Monkeys turning valves and pushing buttons

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Read More

The incredible tiny world of microbiology

The winners of Olympus' annual live sciences photography competition are in, with the top 10 submissions revealing an entire world of microscopic wonder.

It's the 10th year of Olympus' BioScapes international digital-imaging competition — where photographers from around the globe can send in ... Read More

TWiM #87: Avogadro, archaeal fossils, and ICAAC

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloMichael Schmidt, ... Read More

Study Finds Most Pork Contaminated With Yersinia Bacteria

A sample of raw pork products from supermarkets around the United States found that yersinia enterocolitica, a lesser-known food-borne pathogen, was present in 69 percent of the products tested, according to a study released today by Consumer Reports.

The bacteria infects more than 100,000 ... Read More

Frog-In-Bucket-Of-Milk Folklore Leads to Potential New Antibiotics

Following up on an ancient Russian way of keeping milk from going sour -- by putting a frog in the bucket of milk -- scientists have identified a wealth of new antibiotic substances in the skin of the Russian Brown frog. The study appears in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research.

A. T. Lebedev an... Read More

Bacterial 'FM radio' developed

Programming living cells offers the prospect of harnessing sophisticated biological machinery for transformative applications in energy, agriculture, water remediation and medicine. Inspired by engineering, researchers in the emerging field of synthetic biology have designed a tool box of small ... Read More

BacterioFiles 163 - Pseudomyrmex Sidekicks Stop Sprout Sickness

This episode: Ants teaming with bacteria help defend plants from bacterial pathogens!


(9.4 MB, 10.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 145 - Clostridium Converts Cortisol

This episode: Gut bacteria may convert cortisol into important human hormones!


(6 MB, 6.5 minutes)


Note: Episode 144 is now available too. Sorry about that. Not sure what went wrong there, but it is regrettable.


A minor player in the gut, Clostridium scindens,... Read More

Antimicrobial resistance in fish pathogenic bacteria and other bacteria in aquatic environments

Little attention has been paid to the use of antibiotics in the aquaculture industry as one reason for the increase in bacteria resistant to antibiotics and the spread of such resistance to other bacteria.

Since the antibiotics that are used in veterinary medicine and aquaculture belong to t... Read More

How MALDI-ToF is Changing Clinical Microbiology - ICAAC 2013

Lasers are the new DNA. It is called matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization–time of flight (MALDI-TOF) and it uses mass spectrometry to quickly test for hundreds of different pathogens in a small sample using a single automated device. MALDI-TOF is increasingly being used in clinical micr... Read More

Unexpected Bottleneck Identified in Spread of Herpes Simplex Virus

New research suggests that just one or two individual herpes virus particles attack a skin cell in the first stage of an outbreak, resulting in a bottleneck in which the infection may be vulnerable to medical treatment.

Unlike most viruses that spread to new cells by bombarding them with mill... Read More

The Turn of the Screw: James Watson on The Double Helix and his changing view of Rosalind Franklin

An interview with the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA.

The Double Helix is a famous book. It's also an infamous one. Written by James Watson in 1968, it tells the story of how he and Francis Crick figured out the structure of DNA. The catch is that Watson chose to write that story in wh... Read More
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